OXFORD Cheetahs’ 48-42 defeat to Poole Pirates left Jason Crump with a bittersweet feeling.

The SGB Championship holders triumphed at a sold-out Oxford Stadium to back-up last Friday’s 58-32 win in the reverse fixture.

Cheetahs were much closer to Poole this time around and turned a 21-15 deficit after heat six into a 31-29 lead by the end of race ten, but the visitors showed their class to claim the points.

Team manager Crump said: “It was a little disappointing, I thought we dug in very deep in the middle of the meeting and got ourselves back into a really strong position.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite manage to hold on.

“As good a team as Poole are, we showed in the middle part of the meeting we were a match for them.”

Troy Batchelor top-scored for Cheetahs with 12 points, while there were encouraging rides from youngsters Dillon Ruml (9+4) and Jack Thomas (8).

The latter finished fourth in his first two outings of the evening, but roared back with wins in heats eight and nine.

Herald Series: Jack Thomas celebrates a solid heat against Poole Pirates Picture: Steve Edmunds

Jack Thomas (left) celebrates a solid heat Picture: Steve Edmunds

The 22-year-old felt the presence of the 2,000-strong crowd as Cheetahs fans packed out Sandy Lane for the second week running.

Thomas said: “It was a tough start with a few set-up problems, but I had two wins and a second which felt awesome.

“Coming to the stadium, the crowd is just brilliant when you have a race win.

“You can hear people cheer you over the line and it encourages you so much.”


OXFORD 42: Troy Batchelor 12, Kyle Newman 9, Dillon Ruml 9+4, Jack Thomas 8, Scott Nicholls 5, Nathan Stoneman 0, Cameron Heeps r/r.

POOLE 48: Richard Lawson 11, Steve Worrall 9, Danny King 9, Zach Cook 7+2, Ben Cook 5+1, Drew Kemp 5, Nathan Ablitt 2+1.

Championship points: Oxford 0 Poole 3.